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What are the differences between applying online and on paper?

For some programs, you can apply either online or on paper.

  Applying on paper Applying online
Getting started All applications have an application package and guide to help you with your application.

You need an online account to submit your application. Create an account or sign in.

Online application to become a Canadian citizen: At this time, only some applicants can apply online to become a Canadian citizen. Check if you can apply online.

Documents and forms Read the guide to know which forms and documents you need to submit. We will ask you to upload documents and forms based on your application.
Paying fees You pay your fees before you submit your application and send us the receipt.

Depending on what you apply for, you pay your fees

  • online before you submit your application and send us the receipt or
  • in your account before you submit your application

Online application to become a Canadian citizen:

Pay your fees and upload your receipt in the online application.

Submitting your application The guide tells you where to submit your application. You submit your application online when your application is complete.
Processing timesTable footnote * It starts once we receive your complete application at our mailroom. It doesn’t include the time it takes to mail your application.

Most online applications: It starts after we check that you submit a complete application.

Online application to become a Canadian citizen: It starts after you submit your application.

Application status How you check your application status depends on your application.

You can check your application status in your account if you have one.

If you applied through the Permanent residence online application portal and you don’t have an account, find out how to check your status.

IRCC account: We contact you through your account. You can upload additional documents in your account.

Online citizenship application: Find out how to check your status.

If we need additional documents We send instructions by mail or e-mail telling you where to send your documents.

Most online applications: We contact you through your account. You can upload additional documents in your account.

Online citizenship application: We’ll contact you by email.


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